From Sam Sifton’s review of Roberta’s last year, I knew that Chef Carlo Mirarchi did a tasting menu a few nights a week, and that it was supposed to be excellent. But knowing that the wait list was something like six months long, I never gave it much thought. Then came news that the tasting menu would be featured in a completely new space, Blanca, care of Sam’s profile. And then Andrew Knowlton sang its praises too. He is The Foodist for Bon Appetit magazine, and the writer who presented BA’s top 10 new restaurants of the year. Andrew Knowlton also lives in my ‘hood. I’ll trust a guy in the same zip code, but I’ll love a guy who gives the number two spot to a Roberta’s offshoot. The itch began.
And it soon stopped. An upcoming visitor and I decided to commit to getting up early on a Saturday and sitting on the phone indefinitely to try and make a reservation. After pressing redial too many times to count (as well as 53 minutes), I got an actual person on the other line and not an answering machine. She had free spaces for our desired date. I had my choice of seating time. We secured a reservation. What happens next?
Well, no pictures. We were politely asked to refrain from taking any pictures so as not to spoil the surprise for any future guests (you can find some if you must from early day spoil sports, however). My phone remained in my purse, and I had no paper and pencil. Roughly 30 courses flowed forth over almost four hours, and they all strive to remain in my mind as extraordinary epicurean memories. New flavours, old flavours. Textures that were comforting, challenging, and unexpected. Seasoning that asserted itself. My palate has matured to a point where I can appreciate just how important a few grains of sea salt can be or how just how it is that a one-bite course can exceed a plate full of “good enough.”
It’s hard to put into words just how much I enjoyed my Blanca experience. The food, the atmosphere, the warm yet reserved service, the records playing in the background, the beverage pairing. The beverage pairing! God, each glass was amazing and unique.
Perhaps the best way for me to sum up my experience comes from a friend. He told me that maybe I moved to New York to have the best meal of my life.
This could be very true.
261 Moore Street, Brooklyn